Thursday, 19 July 2007

Shivering me timbers

Emmy was visiting last week from subtropical Sydney. For six mornings, she struggled to get from her bed into three layers of trouser before coming down with frostbite. It was a daily race against the elements. Keen to demonstrate my brand new superior Melburnean constitution, I'd invite her to switch on the heater next to her feet, and then I'd breezily open the nearest window, give the place a bit of an airing, and mix myself an iced tea. By saturday night, great torrents of mucous were coursing from my nostrils and some of my favourite extremities had snapped off. I have now capitulated to Winter: soup for breakfast, a hot water bottle for each limb, and woollen frocks.

14 comments:

Miss Eagle said...

You are a gosh-darn meanie aren't you, LH. After nearly six decades in tropical and sub-tropical climes, your correspondent is battling her third winter in Melbourne with associated seasonal affective disorder. And a couple of weeks ago I went to Ballarat as well - at least sans snow. Can one ever become acclimatized - or is it all too late?

TimT said...

I prescribe porridge. Regular doses of oat-based stew with milk will keep you, well, regular - and leave you with a warm feeling in your stomach for most of the rest of the day.

For best results, obviously, porridge should be made with a Spurtle. My father, who is either perverse, or deluded, insists on calling Spurtles 'podgers', which causes no end of confusion. I hold no truck with the podger heresy, though the name does have a poetry of its own.

Of course, it is very difficult, in Melbourne, to find a spurtle: so a wooden spoon may have to suffice.

TimT said...

IN PRAISE OF GRUEL

""My poor dear Isabella," said he, fondly taking her hand, and interrupting, for a few moments, her busy labours for some one of her five children - "How long it is, how terribly long since you were here! And how tired you must be after your journey! You must go to bed early, my dear - and I recommend a little gruel to you before you go. - You and I will have a nice basin of gruel together. My dear Emma, suppose we all have a little gruel."

Emma could not suppose any such thing, knowing as she did, that both the Mr. Knightleys were as unpersuadable on that article as herself; - and two basins only were ordered. After a little more discourse in praise of gruel, with some wondering at its not being taken every evening by every body, he proceeded to say, with an air of grave reflection,

"It was an awkward business, my dear, your spending the autumn at South End instead of coming here. I never had much opinion of the sea air."


Emma, Chapter 12

alexis said...

A meanie, Miss Eagle? I try not to be, but I do suffer from a genetic predisposition to switch lights off and recycle toenail clippings. I'm very generous with my lentil dishes.

Sorry to hear you're under the weather. Hope your spring springs soon.

Timity, what you say about spurtles is enough to warm anyone. The porridge is an added bonus. (I make it milkless, but laced with chopped apple and almond meal and the odd seed.)

trixie said...

shiver me timbers, lex, and rug yourself warm! in our chillier moments on the riverina badlands, we heated our juice for warmth. i don't lie: hot lemon juice, hot apple juice, the jiggle the internal thermostat.

i'm in a country where summer is so cold that sane people can eat porridge for breakfast.

nailpolishblues said...

Am I the only person in the world who snorts at Sydney being described as 'subtropical'? Am I jaded from having spent a decade in the actual tropics?

Sorry, that you're sick. Some nasty woman at work has given us all a charming cold thing so you have my sympathy.

Mitzy G Burger said...

This morning I awoke to the ABC 702 breakfast broadcast of Richard Glover, originally from Canberra, Vs. Phil Ashley Brown - in the Bronte rockpool. Brrrr! Glover won the 2-lap challenge by 4cm. He was originally challenged by brekky DJ Adam Spencer to bravy the icey waters in order to silence the smug Canberra's quips of Sydney being subtropical - in July.Glover finally conceded that the Bronte winter seawater was virtually Melburnian in its chill factor.

Lexington, I wish to contact my former madrigal choir conductor to ask him technical questions pertaining to madrigals. Have you an email address and telephone number I might use? salut, Mitzy

alexis said...

Contakt details coming right up, Mitzi G.

Nails, okay, I was exaggeratin', as I do, for rhetorical effect, such as it was. Sydney is temperate, I agree. An easier-to-live-in climate I can't imagine, though my preference is snow.

Thanks for the health-wishings. I'm on the mend. It's my sub-arctic constitution coming good. Hope you're post-cold soon too.

Trix, I wouldn't sneer at warmed juice in a thousand years. Sounds just the ticket.

TimT said...

Trixie! What part of the Riverina? I grew up in Balranald, on the Murrumbidgee. It's a town that is as exciting, if not less, than it sounds!

TimT said...

Behold the debauched version of madrigal choirs here in Melbourne:

The Butterfly Glee Club.

Alextricity said...

Lovely to hear u've been keepin active!
New Alextricity news: I'm now 18, tattooed & about to head back to uni
x

alexis said...

Oh, happy birdy, Alessandra! As me dad said when I obtained my majority, "Now you've finished with childhood, you can move on to adultery." Though tattoos sound just as good.

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